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To buy or not to buy?.. That is the question!

One of those key questions that’s on most first time skiers lips is whether they should rent ski equipment, or buy their own.

Almost everyone rents their equipment during those first few times on the slopes, but as time goes on and their passion grows they gain knowledge about the brands and most people’s first purchase is ski boots and it grows from there. But, taking your own ski equipment can be costly! So, should you buy or rent ski boots?

As far as boots are concerned – basically, we think the moment you have decided your love skiing then the purchase of a good quality pair of ski boots is a must! The main reason for this is, you will be spending a lot of time in them, so having a badly fitted pair of boots could actually ruin your time on the slopes. A well fitted pair of boots is absolutely essential as the interface between your legs and your skis – without the right boots, there is no point in spending time agonising over the side cut, length and size of a particular ski, as you won’t have the proper ability to control or benefit from the skis’ features.

Rental boots are usually made by the same manufacturer as those that you can buy but they are made specifically for the hire market rather than for retail. They are designed to be worn by many different pairs of feet throughout the season. As the season goes on the foam padding inside the boots gets compressed, making them uncomfortable, and in our opinion, unsafe!

If you are opting to buy your boots, we recommend that you spend several hours in the shop with an experienced boot fitter, who will measure your feet and advise on which models will suit you best. The internet is also a very useful tool when it comes to buying boots. There are hundreds of ski bloggers out there who have written about the topic and rated various makes and models.

Just like many sports these days, technology and engineering has improved dramatically over the years and these days many of the boots feature liners that can be heated up to mould to an individual’s foot and ankle shape. It’s also possible to “blow out” the plastic shell of boots in order to customise them to deal with particular issues, such as where there is a particular tight spot.

So, in our opinion while you should rent boots for your first ski trip (in case you hate it – which we doubt!) As soon as you have caught the skiing bug, investing in a good pair of boots is an absolute must.

So you’ve decided to invest in a good pair of boots, but what about skis?! This argument is a little more balance in our opinion. Unless you are planning on spending the entire season out on the slopes, which sadly most of aren’t blessed this opportunity, taking your own skis can be costly. And, on most occasions the biggest deciding factor to this argument is purely finance based.

The benefits of buying are clear. You own your own skis! No queuing in rental shops, which means no ski time is lost. Owning also means in the long run you will save money, unless you are one of these trendy types who wants a new pair every season! As they are your skis, they can be mounted with bindings that are set up just for your boots, rather than multi-adjustable rental bindings. And, let’s face it rocking up on the slopes with your own skis looks way cooler!

But please don’t feel you now need to rush out to buy a pair of skis, there are just as many perks to renting. Firstly, you don’t need spend hours before you leave home trying to convince the gods to give you certain conditions that will suit your skis. When hiring you can just pick up the skis that are best suited to the snow that you’ve been given! With modern all-mountain skis, having only one ski for all conditions isn’t such a problem, but it is still something to bear in mind. Renting is also so much easier than having to carry them around busy airports – having your own isn’t so cool now, huh?! Finally, renting means you can have your pick of the latest models – this isn’t always the case in smaller outlets, but generally most shops stock the newest models.

SkiAmis · 486 days ago
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To buy or not to buy?.. That is the question!